Past Book Award Recipients

A selection of the publications that have received the ACC Book Award in the past can be seen here. Click on the images to find out more about the individual books. 

The Book Award Committee welcomes suggestions for books to be reviewed. Please share any titles with Amy Dehan, Chairman of the group.

Amy Dehan

Book Award

The ACC Book Award was established in 2005 in order to recognize publications that advance the study of ceramics and promise to become major references in the field.

After the careful review of several worthy books, the ACC Book Award Committee identified this year’s winner as Birds, Bugs and Butterflies: Lady Betty Cobbe’s ‘Peacock’ China, A Biography of an Irish Service of Worcester Porcelain by Alec Cobbe. The volume was published by Boydell Press in 2019 to accompany an exhibition of the same title, curated by Cobbe, at Dublin Castle in Ireland.  

Birds, Bugs and Butterflies follows the author’s journey to research and reassemble a large portion of the impressive first-period Worcester dinner and dessert set commissioned in the mid-eighteenth century by the author’s ancestor Lady Betty Cobbe for Newbridge House in County Dublin, Ireland. The table set is known as the ‘Peacock’ service for its vivid and elaborate painted decoration. As Worcester’s business records for this period were destroyed, Alec Cobbe’s discovery of family papers containing details about the service’s purchase over a period of years give unprecedented insight into the firm’s interaction with early customers.

Containing a bounty of lush, full-color images, the striking design of Birds, Bugs and Butterflies rivals the beauty and appeal of the porcelain service itself. A significant new contribution to the literature on Worcester porcelain, this book is a skillful blend of storytelling and scholarship, providing a highly readable, informative and rewarding discussion on the subject.